Seattle Public Library

Seattle Wa Public Library, designed by Rem Koolhaas

It cost $120+M to construct.

The city [may]( Management/Content Display.cfm&ContentID=76840) eliminate its Book Mobile service to save $2M/year.

David Sucher has written a fair amount about it.

Metropolis Mag wrote a big piece about it. It seems bizarre to me that people keep getting lost in it. Plus they built a computerized system to print you a map to find your way to a specific item.

  • here's a similar story about the main NYC branch - Patrons already intimidated by the BeauxArts building and its stone lions can't always figure out how to use this public service when all of its offerings are kept in stacks behind closed doors. Is this any way for a public institution to behave? Library president Paul Le Clerc didn't think so. That's why the NYPL, on his watch, has constructed an addition, South Court, to house new services such as research classes and orientations to familiarize New Yorkers with their library, how it works, and what it has to offer. Uh, how about a big freakin' sign inside the front door? Maybe these libraries need to call Richard Saul Wurman.

And a lot of the design issues seem centered around the risks of having to move books around as proportions of books carried at various sections of the Dewey Decimal System (Taxonomy) change.

And I'm not quite sure it makes sense to spend lots of tax dollars to create extra "PublicSpace-s" to broaden the libraries mission. It just seems like more top-down boondoggle spending better put into smaller cheaper more distributed options.

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